(Turbo) Train In Vain

I’ve always been an outdoors person, from my childhood days of playing football in the park till there was no light left to my present day excursions on my bike, I’ll always prefer to be outside in the fresh air. My boys are the same, Zac especially is an outdoors kid who can spend hours in our back garden pottering about or playing football without really feeling the cold. It’s that commitment, family, that prompted my first purchase of a turbo trainer (a Minoura setup with a hand operated resistence wheel) rather than the desire to run and hide from any sign of inclement weather. I hated using it, it was boring and shifting the resistance yourself was a chore so it never really got used and ended up in the shed, gathering dust.

My first trainer was a very manual Minoura!

Fast forward a couple of years and we’d signed up for the London to Paris run. I knew that I had a lot of work to do on my fitness to be able to complete the task we’d set ourselves so I invested in a new trainer, a Tacx Flow T2240 Smart Trainer, and hooked it up to Zwift. This is where the game changed for me, the visual appeal of Zwift combined with the computer controlled resistance and the availability of set workouts gave turbo sessions a bit of focus and reduced the boredom factor. I purchased some bluetooth headphones, constructed some playlists and off I went.

I’ve never advanced very far on Zwift, I’m still only on level 14, because any chance I get I will go outside (or to the gym). I like to vary my activities so I’ll normally only go on the trainer once a week, meaning it took me ages to unlock bits of the map like the jungle and the Alpe du Zwift, but now I have a goal to focus on in the 2020 Etape du Tour I will use it a lot more. I made several changes to my turbo setup, including the addition of some clip on tri bars as I struggle with finding a comfortable position on the bike after a while

New tri bars on the trainer bike

……there was just one problem, my trainer started to intermittently cut out from the Zwift connection and then, on Sunday, it carked it, refusing to connect at all. Now the casing at the back of the unit has taken a whack somewhere along the line and I have no doubt that is a contributing factor in its demise, but this leaves me in a spot with the winter approaching and less light to play with. I decided to invest in a new direct drive trainer as my usage will go up considerably in the coming months and so, following a bit of research on good sites like GPLama, I purchased a Wahoo Kickr Core.

The RRP for these is £699 across the board online but I found a deal with Wiggle, including a cassette, for £635 so that was good enough for me. The Kickr Core arrived today and is simple to put together and connect to my Macbook Air. So far so good…..

…..it also has quite a nice freewheel noise!

While I will never be one of those on a Tron bike (I’ll certainly not be cheating to get one!) I am a fan of the turbo/Zwift combination and I have only heard good things about other apps like Trainer Road and Sufferfest. However, given the chance (and the time), you’ll always find me outside enjoying the fresh air.

If you want to add me on Zwift my username is Iain Sisson

3 Comments on “(Turbo) Train In Vain

  1. Check out that Sirrus on the trainer in the shed! Looks a lot like my first turbo setup too. These days I do a fair few Zwift group rides and the odd race (got the Tron, hehe). For more structured training I always opt for The Sufferfest though. 

    I bought my mate a KICKR CORE for his “baby shower” present earlier this year. He seems to give it a good hammering! Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

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